Paul Parker

  • Arsenal bottled it at United

    Manchester United's win against Arsenal wasn't the most exciting of games and,
    for all the talk from Arsene Wenger about it being a chance for his side to
    prove their worth, when it really mattered they again couldn't deliver.

    We've
    gone through another moment of Arsenal hype but once again they couldn't bring
    any of their magic and I would go as far as to say that they bottled it.

    Marouane
    Chamakh is not good enough, Samir Nasri went missing in a big game. It's all
    very well doing it against Fulham but against the big boys he couldn't show his
    undoubted skill.

    I
    was very disappointed in

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  • Fabregas can lead Gunners charge

    MATCH OF THE WEEKEND: Arsenal v Burnley

    My comments on Monday about Arsene Wenger's reaction to Aaron Ramsey's injury provoked a very strong response from Arsenal fans. Perhaps I would have been better off saying that Ryan Shawcross should be hung, drawn and quartered.

    I was in no way trying to trivialise what is a very serious injury for a young player. I have nothing but sympathy for Ramsey and his team-mates. I was just stating my belief that the criticism aimed at Shawcross, and especially Wenger's post-match comments, was not helpful.

    Arsenal's first match since that unfortunate

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  • Win doesn’t hide Arsenal’s worries in defence

    Arsenal got a good result against Aston Villa at the weekend but they have yet to sort out their defensive frailties.

    Their options in midfield and attack are excellent - as shown by the sparkling play they showed to build 2-0 leads by half-time against Villa and also against Tottenham last weekend.

    But a killer instinct is missing. Spurs should never have been able to find a way back into the derby game, and if Villa had had some more experienced players on the pitch, they might also have completed a comeback.

    Arsenal's defence has changed completely in recent years.

    The old days of

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  • England deserve what they’ve got

    Landon Donovan's late goal for the USA against Algeria dealt England's hopes of World Cup glory a serious blow - but it was nothing less than the Three Lions deserved.

    England now have to do it the hard way, but considering their performances so far at the tournament, a runners-up place in Group C - and a tough game against Germany - was entirely merited.

    England were lacking desire, passion, hunger and any kind of penetrative attacking play in their opening two games, while the Americans have played with spirit throughout their group campaign and managed to score twice as many goals as

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  • Blame must be shared for Nani goal

    The weekend's main talking point was Nani's controversial goal in Manchester United's 2-0 win over Tottenham.

    The Portuguese went down in the Spurs box and, as players often do when they think they've been fouled, briefly grabbed hold of the ball as he rolled on the deck. Referee Mark Clattenburg didn't give a penalty, but then he didn't signal for handball either, shaking his head and waving play on.

    UK readers can watch it here.

    One of two things can be assumed:

    1. That Clattenburg did not see the handball by Nani
    2. That Clattenburg saw it and - with keeper Heurelho Gomes picking up the

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  • Gerrard should leave for Hodgson to succeed

    Roy Hodgson has been appointed as the
    manager of Liverpool for one reason: to restore the team ethic which was so
    desperately lacking under Rafael Benitez and the sale of Steven Gerrard will help
    that.

    It is as yet unclear whether the Liverpool
    skipper will definitely be sold but, at the age of 30, Gerrard would be crazy
    not to leave Anfield and I am certain that Liverpool would actually benefit from
    his departure.

    If Liverpool fans are honest with
    themselves they would accept that there is an unhealthy over-reliance on
    Gerrard, and a cancerous form of social-loafing sets in when a team expect

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  • Hail the have-a-go heroes

    Even though Liverpool went into Sunday's match against Chelsea on the back of three straight wins, not many people could have envisaged they would run out 2-0 winners at Anfield.

    In those three games, Bolton and Blackburn could just as easily have won, and it took a Roy of the Rovers-style cameo from Steven Gerrard to overturn Napoli in the Europa League. But their first half performance against the champions was their best of the season by far.  

    It's the first time in a while that Fernando Torres has looked up for it from the off, and with Dirk Kuyt back in the team Roy Hodgson played two up

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  • Rooney shouldn’t be rewarded for failure

    All the talk today has been of Wayne Rooney reportedly letting it be known that he wants to leave Manchester United, and that he is not interested in negotiating a new contract at the club.

    Manchester United have let so many great players go in the past and they've coped well. It should always be the case that no one player is bigger than the club, whether that club be United or anyone else.

    Wayne hasn't really helped himself. Things are against him at the moment - his confidence is low while he continues to be vilified in the press for his off-field indiscretions.

    But things could all turn

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  • Johnson should replace Walcott

    Everything is rosy for Fabio Capello after beating Bulgaria 4-0, but Switzerland are a much tougher proposition for England on Tuesday.

    You've got to sweep the last game under the carpet and look to the next one - and it will be a tough, tough contest.

    We can't afford to go a goal down. It will be very difficult to get it back if that happens because their goals-against record is top notch. They're one of the best defences in the world, and it's down to the way they defend as a side. It is absolutely incredible how they do it.

    They're not the best side to watch: they'll straight away try to

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